PHC demotes judge for contracting secret marriage with Civil Judge

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday suspended the appointment of five advisers and special assistants to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister.

The PHC Judge Justice Ikramullah Khan ordered the KP government to suspend notifications of appointment of five advisers and special assistants to the chief minister.

The Awami National Party (ANP) Member Provincial Assembly Khushdil Khan Advocate had challenged the appointments of advisers and special assistants in the high court. The KP government had issued notification regarding appointment of Ajmal Wazir, Ziaullah Khan Bangash, and Himayatullah Khan as advisers to the chief minister and Abdul Karim Khan and Kamran Khan Bangash as special assistants to the chief minister earlier this year.

KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai in his reaction on the court order said he has received the news of court orders through media. He said the government will study the orders of the PHC and then decide its strategy. He said the KP government has not received any notice from the court.

Shaukat Yousafzai insisted that the appointment of the five special assistants and advisers was legal and there was no problem in it. He opined that the Constitution of Pakistan allows the chief minister of a province to appoint more than five advisers and special assistants. He said he would respond in detail about the court verdict after receiving input from the Advocate General.

Few days earlier, the KP government withdrew the notification of awarding the status of provincial ministers to two advisers and two special assistants.

On May 27, the provincial government had issued a notification which granted the status of provincial ministers to Ziaullah Bangash, Himayatullah Khan, Abdul Karim Khan and Kamran Khan Bangash. However, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan reversed the decision within few days.

“The competent authority is pleased to withdraw this department’s notification with immediate effect,” said a notice from the provincial government. The notification said the advisers and special assistants will continue to work on their posts.

The federal and KP government’s often come under criticism from the opposition parties for appointing so many advisers and special assistants, some of them unelected. These advisers and special assistants wield considerable influence on the decision-making.